Written by John Rowe ITC Concours Committee Member Through Dec 2005
Concours Chairman: Tom Young
Concours Committee: Nick Anzano, Martin Brugmans, Bill Shilo, John Draxler
ITC (International Thunderbird Club) at its conventions has judging for all years of Thunderbirds produced. Although judging is a very important aspect to all our conventions it is not the main focus of our conventions. We reserve one day out of each convention for judging (Saturday) followed by our annual banquet dinner and awards presentation. The purpose of this writing is to explain what we judge and why we judge in the manner we do. First and foremost we must remember that we are all out to have an enjoyable convention and maintain our high standard of judging at the same time.
To know how we do our judging you must first understand our concept. NO car is judged against another car. Instead each car is judged against a standard which has been established by our Concours Chairman and his committee. That standard includes some very specific rules and specifications for the Thunderbirds. We have broken the cars out into groups of which each owner has the opportunity to select which group they would like to enter their car into. The groups consist of Showcase, Touring Modified, Touring, Formal, and Senior Formal. The next question probably is what class would my car fall into. If you are attending a convention and are not sure of what class you should enter your car into the following should be of some help, if not you can always contact the Concours Chairman Tom Young at 410-653-3108 or any officer of the ITC.
Remember no car is judged against another car only against a standard which is followed at all conventions. The following is a brief description of the classes.
Showcase / Display
These cars are either cars that have achieved their Senior Formal award and no longer wish to compete against the standard set fourth. Or they are cars which the owner loves and is at the convention just for the fun of attending and renewing past friendships. These cars are not judged but instead there are several people's choice awards given out for these cars. The people who submit a vote for any car in this class are those members attending the convention. All Thunderbirds can fall into this class. Awards are given out for first through third place people's choice selection.
This class is pretty much defined by its title. The class is made up of those Thunderbirds which have been modified from the original car. All years of Thunderbirds can fall into this class. Modifications can be anything the owner likes to do to their Thunderbird to personalize the car. These cars are judged using a 200 point system and are judged using an established standard for modified cars. The operation of the car is checked as well. Basically if it's installed on the car it must work. Lights, horns, radio, power options etc. The quality of the modification is also checked as well as the overall fit and finish of the car. Awards are given out for first through third place. There can be several first, second, or third place cars as they are all judged by a standard, NOT against each other.
This class is made up of cars that have not been modified and are basically used as drivers by their owner. As stated before these cars are judged against a standard and not against each other. The cars are judged using a 200 point system and are checked for originality, fit and finish, bright work, operations, etc. The undercarriage is not checked on these cars and some of the operations used in the Formal class are not judged as well. Any Thunderbird can fall into the touring class. Since the cars are judged against a standard and not each other there can be all first place winners or no first place cars. It purely depends on the car itself not the other car in the class. Awards are given out for first through third place.
Cars entering the Formal class are those cars, which the owner has taken great pains to make or maintain the originality of his or her car. The standard for this class is set at a very high level and the cars are judged against a 350 point system. Virtually every aspect of the car is checked with as many as 6 judges looking at the car at the same time. Again no car is judged against another car, but instead against a standard established by the Concours Chairman and his committee. Each car judged in this class will receive one to one and half man-hours of inspection. Awards are given out for first through third place with the possibility of multiple awards for each place awarded.
Cars entering this class must first have achieved a first place award in the Formal class. These cars are judged using the same criteria as the Formal class. The 350 point system is in effect for this class. The judging in this class is by far most critical. Not only are the judges looking at everything that was judged in the Formal class but also they are insuring that the car did indeed meet the standard set fourth. Again the total man-hours spent judging each car within this class is one to one and a half-hours.
Additional information can be obtained at any of our conventions. Our Technical Advisors would be most willing to assist anyone in preparing their car for any of the above-described classes. Most importantly, always remember we at ITC are a group of Thunderbird enthusiasts who just love Thunderbirds to death. We are very serious about our judging, but we want to have fun at the same time.
Introducing the First in a Series
Concours Rules and Original Specifications
Please contact The Concours Chair to purchase